Tim Palmer is a New Zealand fruit and vegetable activist. He is an eccentric enthusiast for fresh fruit and vegetables, popular amongst the local and extended community in Ohakune. He is a self proclaimed fruit and vegetable activist popular with organic growers, and scourge to fertiliser manfacturers or any other catalysts to poor produce production. His goal is to achieve nutritious excellence for all New Zealand families through pure organic fruit and vegetables. He is currently leader of the Fruit and Vegetable Alliance.
Tim Palmer was born in Ohakune, New Zealand, on the 13th April 1978 under the shade of the towns iconic giant carrot, believed to have had a profound affect on the direction of his life. With an uncanny passion for vegetables, Tim lived his early life as a child wandering from fruit stall to green grocer. Home schooled up until he was 9 years old, Tim experienced difficulty fitting in with other children at Ohakune primary school. He refused to eat any fruit or vegetables unless he had seen it picked with his own eyes making him an obvious target with bullies. For his secondary school years Tim was sent to Ngata Memorial College in Gisborne where he boarded until he was 16. Little is known about his secondary school years except he was an exceptional debater, concerning himself in local college issues such as the lack of fresh produce on sale at the school cafeteria. He was also a talented skier, as Ohakune is close to Mount Ruapehu (the mountain of the biggest ski field in New Zealand), his Dad would take him there often during the skiing season.
Leaving school at the age of 17, Tim returned to Ohakune finding his first real job in the local markets. He continued working for many local growers around the central north island for many years. Over time, after working for many different produce suppliers, Tim became concerned with the amount of spray used in traditonal fruit and vegetable harvest. Determined to do something about this, he attempted to educate growers on growing produce organically. Meet with little success due to negative comments from farmers, Tim decided to form an activist group dedicated to the production of premium quality fruit and vegetables.
In 2004 he announced the formation of the "Fruit and Vegetable Alliance" in a public display at a Cambridge, New Zealand farm field day. He was forcefully removed from this event by security personnel after he abused a fertiliser sales representative, accusing him of poisoning the nation. His alliance initially consisted of four core members consisting of himself, Ron Smelts, Richard Donnel and Mike Perry. Currently, members unofficially total 174. They announced they plan on making an incorporated non-profit organisation titled the Fruit and Vegetable Alliance in 2009. Their organisation depsises groups such as Greenpeace who they consider anti-social. Tim was quoted as saying "We are not negative everything like these organisations, but positive about the general well being of the New Zealand public, and protecting their rights to have top quality fruit and vegetable produce".
Whilst the movement attempts to make itself well known, Tim and his group do not appear often in public, making the Fruit and Vegetable Alliance still very much an underground group. Preferred communication with 'enemies' of the alliance are sent via email to farmers, super markets (or 'produce slayers' as they call them), grower federations, or any other organisation that violate their beliefs on proper treatment of fruit and vegetables. This form of correspondence is preferred by the group, said to protect individual members from unnecessary excessive public exposure and media attention (with little published work), but getting the message of the alliance out to New Zealanders by word of mouth.
Despite his underground activities, Tim has become a popular name and shadow figure amongst many New Zealanders, and cult hero amongst organic growers and rural New Zealand residents, especially in the central north island. He is widely accepted as eccentric but greatly respected by many due to his strong ideals and quest for perfection. The rate of penetration of organic produce into supermarkets has been arguably attributed to the constant efforts made by Tim and the Fruit and Vegetable Alliance. Many who have worked with Tim in the past in the markets always show great affection towards him, describing him as friendly and passionate about his fruit and vegetables, but very much an intravert. Tim and members of his group have appeared at many local grower days and harvest meets over the last three years all over the north and south islands, but disappear quickly to avoid confrontations with media. They have also been spotted forming rallies outside town supermarkets protesting (often to public amusement) about fruit and vegetable rights. His current marital status is unknown, however has been rumored to be in a relationship with an organic grower from a Taupo orchard, whom he met at a protest in 2003.
External linksSource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Palmer_(NZ)